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Crossing the Stream, Leaving the Cave : Buddhist-Platonist Philosophical Inquiries - Amber D. Carpenter

Crossing the Stream, Leaving the Cave

Buddhist-Platonist Philosophical Inquiries

By: Amber D. Carpenter (Editor), Pierre-Julien Harter (Editor)

Hardcover | 4 July 2024

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Crossing the Stream, Leaving the Cave brings philosophers from two of the world's great philosophical traditions--Platonic and Indian Buddhist--into joint inquiry on topics in metaphysics, epistemology, mind, language, and ethics. An international team of scholars address selected questions of mutual concern to Buddhist and Platonist: How can knowledge of reality transform us? Will such transformation leave us speechless, or disinterested in the world around us? What is cause? What is self-knowledge? And how can dreams shed light on waking cognition? What do the paradoxes thrown up by abstract thought about fundamental notions such as being and unity reveal? Is it possible to attain unity in ourselves, and should we even try? Would doing so make us happy--and is such happiness consistent with both contemplation of reality and action in the world? With close readings of texts by Buddhaghosa, Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Dignaga, Bhaviveka, Santideva; by Plato, Plotinus, Porphyry, Olympiodorus, and Damascius (among others), these studies consider not just the different answers Buddhists and Platonists might give to these questions, but also the criticisms they might bring to each other's positions, the sort of arguments they use, and the use they put these arguments to. Bringing Platonic and the Buddhist perspectives jointly to bear creates a cosmopolitan philosophical exchange which yields greater conceptual clarity on the questions and the terms in which they are cast, reveals unnoticed conceptual connections, and opens up new possibilities for addressing central philosophical concerns.

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